Planning Your Wedding Long Distance // From Alexa

6/09/2017

I met Alexa last summer while she was still in the process of planning her wedding out in California and was thrilled to hear from her after asking brides to share their experience with long distance planning! Although she wasn’t a bride of mine last year, she very graciously sharing these beautiful images taken by Carissa Lombardi Photography and a bundle of tips for brides in the same shoes she was just months ago. I know if you’re planning your wedding from afar, you’ll love hearing what she has to say!

Where were you living when you were planning your wedding and where was your wedding?

I was living in Sioux Falls, SD and planning our wedding to be in Sacramento, CA.

 

 Did you have a destination wedding or were you planning long distance for other reasons?

I am from Houston, TX and my husband is from Sacramento, CA. My family and guests were going to have to travel no matter where we had the wedding and most of my husband’s family is from the Sacramento area. It just made the most sense AND CA is a great vacation spot!

How long did you have to plan your wedding?

Engaged in December and married the following October so just about 10 months. 

 

What was the hardest part of planning your wedding long distance?

Not being able to see/experience things in person. We decide on our venue from pictures and what we heard about it from family in the area. We couldn’t go check out DJs or taste cakes beforehand. We went off of a lot of reviews and suggestions which turned out being GREAT but we also probably spent a little more money going with options we knew were good vs maybe finding a DJ who just started and is looking for gigs or something along those lines. 

Another challenge was deciding which things we had to spend a little more on for convenience. We went with a full service/inclusive venue so they provided chairs/tables/linens/bridal suite/catering/etc and a DJ/MC company that just totally handled the audio/timing/flow of the whole event from ceremony to reception. Organizing all those small details from states away just seemed silly and stressful. 

 

Was there anything you did that helped make the process easier?

We really relied on family in the area to take care of things we couldn’t. Think about talented people who can offer wedding day services as a gift. We have friends and family who offered us great deals on their services, specifically photography/videography/hair/makeup/cake. 

The venue being full service and inclusive was extremely helpful. 

My husband and I sat down and decided what was REALLY important to us and we focused on those things. Its easy to get caught up in all the details and the “you should do this” conversations so to keep our ideas streamlined and focused was really helpful. Some things that are traditional just weren’t valuable to us so we nixed them.

 

Was there anything you would’ve done differently that might have helped ease the process?

Honestly, no. Everything turned out great and ran really smoothly.  

 

Did you find any helpful websites or vendors to help with the process of planning from afar?

Weddingwire was helpful for finding a venue we loved that was also in our budget. From there, the venue provided a list of suggested vendors for us to use and that was the main resource we used for booking vendors.  

What advice would you share to another bride planning her wedding from long distance?

  • Figure out early what is important to you. 
  • Have a binder or something that helps you stay organized during the process.
  • Find a venue/vendors that are going to work with you long distance. Our venue was great with this but there were a couple places I talked to that wouldn’t even consult me over the phone which, in my opinion, is ridiculous so I didn’t even bother looking at them. 
  • Ask for help if you need it. My family or bridesmaids weren’t close so there wasn’t a whole lot they could help with even though they wanted to.  if you have tasks people can help with – ask but we clear about what you want or expect!
  • Leave wiggle room in your budget for the things you wont see coming. Weddings are a big expense anyway and when you plan it from a distance, I feel like the chances something can pop up are even greater. 
  • Don’t stress the small stuff – its all about perspective and at the end of the day you’ll be married; my husbanded literally split his pants doing a Spiderman jump picture with his guys before the ceremony. At that point, all you can do is laugh it off and hope he finds new pants (thankfully he did!)
  • HAVE FUN and make your day exactly what you want. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with brides in the middle of their engagement?

Again, have fun and find ways to enjoy the process – it a once in a lifetime thing!

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